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Mon Mar 18, 2019, 10:13 AM

 

This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile

This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile
Overcoming life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.

By Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

March 16, 2019

"In a homeless shelter in Manhattan, an 8-year-old boy is walking to his room, carrying an awkward load in his arms, unfazed by screams from a troubled resident. The boy is a Nigerian refugee with an uncertain future, but he is beaming.

He can’t stop grinning because the awkward load is a huge trophy, almost as big as he is. This homeless third grader has just won his category at the New York State chess championship.

...

What’s even more extraordinary is that Tani, as he is known, learned chess only a bit more than a year ago. His play has skyrocketed month by month, and he now has seven trophies by his bed in the homeless shelter.

...

Makofsky shook his head wonderingly. “One year to get to this level, to climb a mountain and be the best of the best, without family resources,” he said. “I’ve never seen it.”"

Immigrants.

"They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

–Real estate mogul Donald Trump, presidential announcement speech, June 16, 2015

If this nation is ever to be truly great again it will be on the strength of its immigrants, as it always has been.

Read the rest about this kid and his family.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/opinion/sunday/chess-champion-8-year-old-homeless-refugee-.html

6 replies, 936 views

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Reply This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile (Original post)
DirtEdonE Mar 2019 OP
malaise Mar 2019 #1
DirtEdonE Mar 2019 #2
IndyOp Mar 2019 #4
DirtEdonE Mar 2019 #6
Codeine Mar 2019 #3
northoftheborder Mar 2019 #5

Response to DirtEdonE (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 10:18 AM

1. Get thee to the greatest page

We need a good story

Thank You

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 10:28 AM

2. You're welcome, malaise

 

I read it in the Sunday Review this morning. It really struck me as what we used to know as an inspiring story of immigrants coming to America to build a better life and a better America.

Now we have this white nationalist nazi in the White House and it is just heartbreaking. This little genius broke down in tears at their last immigration hearing when he misunderstood and thought they were going to be deported. Their next immigration hearing is in August. My hope is that someone read the NY Times this weekend and will champion this family.

Then, we need to take back our country and put someone in the White House who will champion all immigrants, not just his relatives.

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Response to DirtEdonE (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 11:04 AM

4. I was thinking the same thing about the immigration hearing...

I read the article at least three times - it is very moving. I was very happy to read that the school waived his fees so he could participate in chess club and that the principal had a celebration at the school for his big win at state.

He clearly loves chess and is brilliant and is on his way to being a grand master.

He is so advanced and so determined to stay in the US, that I worry a little that he might feel like he must win, must continue to be super successful for his family to get to stay in the country.



Children sometimes think they have more power and greater responsibility than they really do. I would guess that immigration tends to make children grow up fast.



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Response to IndyOp (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 12:50 PM

6. His parents are very loving and supporting

 

Even under the circumstances they're facing they are working hard and making huge sacrifices to do what's best for their family. It's what "The American Dream" used to be all about.

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Response to DirtEdonE (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 10:40 AM

3. Amazing how some minds just latch onto that game.

 

I tried to improve my play as a child but really hit a wall pretty early in my development. I just didn’t have what this little guy does. Good on him!

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Response to DirtEdonE (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2019, 11:45 AM

5. This child clearly has a brilliant mind.

What a splendid addition to our nation. Hope his family gets to stay and become citizens.

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